The following is one report of today’s activities on Planet Earth. We have a general idea of the location as Atlanta. This is a Fig Newton of the Imagination, and does not purport to be an official 23:59 report from the United States of America.
It is impossible to fail when we imagine the possibilities to solve every problem. Our results may fail every so often, but when we collaborate to improve our methods then we will eliminate failure and deliver best results.
Here is what was downloaded from the Collective Consciousness. We hope you enjoy this story. Here it goes.
The Caregiver took the long way home, which might have seemed more dangerous than the quick route. The quick route up this sidewalk and down that one was actually more painful in every way. Bright lights from the quick route home hurt her brain worse after working such a long shift with little to eat since the last donation. She didn’t want to focus on that, since the family in need had no money and few groceries either. Her hunger and fatigue would be eased by taking the long way home.
After working a physically and emotionally demanding 12 hour shift with a human being who was at the end of this life, it was necessary to take the long way home. This is what death truly is for all life; the long way home. Helped were the human beings that realized no one should wish to escape the long way home. No short cut could help you avoid the long way home, no matter who you were and how you were born to this life. You would also die, at that’s alright if we take care of our lives.
She ducked away from the bright lights of the big city of downtown Atlanta and navigated through alley ways and side streets, taking care not to step on the flora and fauna that poked through the concrete in defiant declaration of its own value. She dressed as she normally would after removing her soiled scrubs, hair covering, and wrapping these tightly in a Ziploc bag before showering and donning clean scrubs, hair covering, and undergarments. She did this with the family’s permission, and scrubbed everything before and after her shower.
This was the long way home. The family appreciated her thorough attention to detail, and did not count it as slow, stupid, and overly sensitive as money drunk Americans normally do. Money was only a tool, as was wine. People who got drunk with these things forget that fact. Money was not people. It was so sad to the Caregiver to see beautiful people from all nations forget the methodical nature of life’s slow evolution and remember only the time value of money within a space of a few generations living in America. Helped were those who identified all people, places, and things correctly. Time was not money. Time was time. Time was measured in finite numbers sometimes, and infinite numbers most of the time. Otherwise we wouldn’t be dead for so long.
Otherwise the memory of a loved one whose life had passed from the mortal body to the immortal realm would not seem to ease the pace of time and space. Money was not the best measure of time. Health was the best measure, but America had forgotten this fact. Maybe America never knew what Fathers and Mothers were communicating all these generations. Life comes in quick shots and slow cycles. So it was with taking the long way home. Taking the long way home involved showering before and after work, truly a luxury in America that should be a necessity for all.
She stepped over cracks, not out of superstition, but a knowledge that there was life there in the margins. She did her best to stay in the present time and space, but her mind was necessarily connected to the living soul whose failing body was tucked between the clean muslin sheets she had just laid on the bed before his family came to relieve her for the night. Properly divining their tradition in silence, she took care not to disturb the many candles nor augment the light with current from the many switches, buttons, and knobs modern life provides. Taking the long way home was a slow burning effect, just like a candle’s wax melting away as the spirit departs for infinity. His spirit came to her in colors of red, yellow, and green. She loved him so, and treasured his every story, and their every moment together.
Suddenly with a whoosh, he appeared. At first, she was frightened. She felt her central nervous system clench, until she was reminded to take a deep breath of blow out the flames of fear that often burned bright. She remembered the wisdom to receive and give freely with open palm, never to be closed tightly with a clenched fist.
His face reminded her of someone she had seen a long time ago in Florabelle, Florida as a child fostered by the Stout family. His Black face scared her a bit, as her white face scared him. He reminded her of someone and something a long time ago, as she reminded him of cruel people.
She remembered long ago, unable to sleep in the same bed where her cat, Gunsmoke, protected her. After her foster parent, Mr. Stout, shot her favorite companion, a renegade gun powder grey cat named Gunsmoke, she often snuck out of the dilapidated tin roofed farm house. Its high ceilings and attic fan offered little comfort, and no modern screens fitted into the large windows to keep the critters out. Tattered flags from a conquered nation with fading stars and bars fluttered about in the sultry night breeze. The way Mr. Stout said her name when he entered her room that first night made her hate herself worse than her first name. Dixie. She preferred to be called by her middle name, Joy.
She learned a long time ago that if you worked hard enough, you could be invisible, and incorporate a little sprinkle and a big slice of infinity into each day. For her, this time was at night after she had fed the Stout family, who continually reminded her of their huge investment in her welfare in dollars and cents. They never considered her investment of unpaid labor. She counted it all joy, ensuring their evening meals were heavy laden with fried foods, pork, and lard as they so richly loved. The more spectacularly and silently she served their evening meal, the heavier they slept, and the quicker she could climb through the window on to the back porch and steal away to Scarborough Pond.
Time was never measured by money for the Caregiver. Time was measured by calories. By taking Mr. Stout’s every beating with joy for refusing to eat their heavy fried foods, and snacking all day instead on the plentiful fruits, nuts, legumes, vegetables, eggs, and grains so plentiful on the land, she had enough time and space to commune with God in the pure black of night while they slumbered with stomachs heavy laden to their delight.
The Caregiver learned to become invisible and valuable by June Bugging around all day to field strip every surface, compartment, and landscape of the land legally owned by the Stout family. They were cruel, but they didn’t know better. They could also be very kind, so she focused on that. In their limited perception, an orphaned foster child was property just like their livestock. She preferred to live with the lives known as livestock, where under the mulberry tree’s welcome shade she could read by the light of her Coleman kerosene lantern she carried with her since Momma took her own life near the lighthouse years before.
The Caregiver field stripped everything with great care, from the barns where lambs, goats, pigs, chickens & turkeys slept to all seven rooms of the 1873 built farm house, to every acre of neatly planted vegetation, to her secret spot at Scarborough Pond where water mocassins, alligators, and mosquitoes silently welcomed her to their pure arcanum of onyx. None of them moved suddenly, and their lives connected while their bodies did not in the velvet black of night. This was her hiding place, the space where she could be alone with God, float naked on her back, stare at the moon and stars, only made visible by the wholesome, healing, pure power in the black of night. It made her feel brand new, just like Grammy and Poppy did when they took her to the little brown Methodist Church in the vale many moons ago before their bodies died. It made her feel like a virgin.
As the alley ways of Atlanta frightened her rarely, neither did the back woods of rural Florida scare her. Tonight she was scared, so she sipped from this soothing memory to call her to present time and handle the situation with best results.
Bathing in her Birthday Suit so many moons ago, the Caregiver enjoyed the muddy waters of Scarborough Pond, always swimming to the sweet spot, where a cool tributary soothed the open wounds and welts on her back, buttocks, legs, and feet. She called herself from Scarborough Pond to present time, and saw the transportatation worker’s face as it was here and now, not as it reminded her of his Black face many moons ago.
One night, she snuck out earlier than usual and climbed up the mighty Oak tree, high enough to touch the spot where her Estes model rocket had been stuck for ages. She divined why it had changed its trajectory and got caught in the Oak tree.
Mr. Stout was kind enough to buy her the kit, and encouraged her to put it together in his messy, filthy garage shop. She organized and cleaned his sacred tool space for him much to his delight, expediting his repair of cars, tractors, weed eaters, and lawn mowers. This was their truce. This was their sweet spot.
She loved to build things in his garage, but like that little Estes model rocket, she seemed to be tangled in the limbs of the Stout’s firmly rooted family tree that kept her from shooting to the stars. She didn’t hate Mr. Stout. She hated the way he called her names and insults since the day her Estes model rocket launch ended in failure. Or was it a failure?
Had her Estes model rocket not been stuck there, she would not have known the exact path, the quickest route, to scamper up that mighty Oak tree with a whoosh. It was the reason she had a clear view of Scarborough Pond every night, to survey the scene before bathing there with the flora and fauna. It was the reason she saw this one terrifying scene in the peanut field East of Scarborough Pond that same night that reminded her of this night. She saw a wooden cross burning brightly, and his Black face steeled in silence. His hands were tied above his head, as were his feet below, to a wooden plank. As Gunsmoke did not protest or scream the morning after he had attacked Mr. Stout for entering her bedroom the night before, neither did this Black man scream and protest. His strength and silence reminded her of what Gunsmoke taught her many moons ago. Encourage the enemy’s arrogance. Do not yield to him by feeding his arrogance with screams of protest. His quiet courage and calm were clear. The stillness and silence in his soul remained unbroken from his captured voice. His voice would be barely audible beneath the filthy cloth stuffed tightly against his tonsils so as to gag him and allow air only through his nostrils.
His courage reminded her of Gunsmoke. The morning after Gunsmoke attacked Mr. Stout for entering her bedroom, he stood still in the corner as ten men blocked him. He knew his position was certain death, but he still gave the enemy no quarter. He encouraged their arrogance and licked his lips with delight, counting it all joy as they slipped the burlap sack over his beautiful body. He fought like he should fight when he knew death was soon to come to his body. He fought it within his mind, sending Mr. Stout his colors in silence, never giving him the satisfaction only cowards desire. Like the Caregiver, Gunsmoke never begged any man for his life. He prayed to God for his soul. He knew he was a Elder cat, and she was a human child. It was not wholesome for the Elders to harm their youth for their own gain, as he had seen people do with alarming increase during his lifetime. It was time for his body to die, and he fell asleep with great adoration and content for God, and his parents. He felt the warm glow of his final years on the farm with her. He adored the Caregiver, as she adored him. He was her Hero, and she was his Heroine.
Gunsmoke knew his prayers were heard by God, and he knew he was a cat. Few people knew all lives are precious like a cat, because no one can ever truly own a cat. Dogs have owners; cats have staff as the saying goes. So it was that all life depended on other lives, but Gunsmoke watched a world where people forgot that until the Caregiver showed him love and compassion that sweltering August day many moons ago. He heard with great fury Mr. and Mrs. Stout compare their foster children to cats, and wondered why human beings failed to identify their own divinity. God don’t make no junk, as he often heard the Caregiver say to him as she stroked his thick fur. Cats were cats. People were people. It seemed to him cats treated their children better than people.
They would wait until the entire Stout family went to town, then snuggle up, watch Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Soul Train on the little UHF/VHF Sony TV with its tin foil covered rabbit ears in their sacred space together. What a life he enjoyed. He was at peace.
Cats possess people. People possess people, in ways sometimes cruel, but more often kind. No one truly owns anyone except God. The Caregiver knew this fact. She was Gunsmoke’s shepherdess, his Mistress, when others had rejected him at birth. He was the runt of the litter, the only boy whose three sisters were beautiful Calicos. Father had been killed three moons after he married Mother and started their family. Mother could not bear the site of him, so scrawny and little with his thick dark grey coat. He looked just like her Mr., and the site of him so scrawny reminded her too much of how she found her beloved in the ditch decaying amidst litter of beer bottles and Nehi soda caps. So Gunsmoke learned to hunt, fish, swim, fight, kill, and above all, protect Mother and his sisters. Like the Caregiver, he regarded womankind as holy above holy creatures, cruel though they could sometimes be. More often that not, they were kind. Gunsmoke had lived long enough to find a woman who loved him just the way he was – old, stoic, and grey. He was happy to die in her service, and prayed she would live a long, happy, healthy life full of love and laughter. More important, he prayed God would seek justice against the Stout family whose many sins against their foster daughter he witnessed.
He went slack with slumber, remembering how beautiful the Caregiver was, how generous, how kind, how compassionate, how brave she was. He remembered why he refused to eat the dried cat food placed in bowls often invaded by ants the Caregiver left on the back porch for the other stray cats who wandered in off the little country crossroads. He was Elder, and gifted in the arts of hunting, fattening himself on many scampering creatures after tenderizing their meat. People often criticized cats for how they ate their meat, while ignoring their own filthy habits with animal protein. It was true that he would torture snakes, mice, and squirrels for days underneath the stilted farm house, but he was only tenderizing the meat. It was the same thing people did with calves to enjoy their veal, but in his opinion done with more justice since he protected human lives from these other critters. Gunsmoke was careful to preserve the dried food for the scrawny young feminine felines, whose lives mattered only to him and the Caregiver. He protected them all because that was God’s intelligent design. He loved them all more than his own life, as he loved his Mother.
He remembered in peaceful sleep how wonderful the Caregiver felt as she slept on her back beneath his body, lovingly sprawled on top of hers. The beautiful rhythm of her heartbeat reminded him of his Mother, a Dave Brubeck melody, finding fresh fish at the racetrack, his many wives and children, and an infinite number of beautiful scenes in his amazing life. He did not give the cowardly Mr. Stout the satisfaction of begging for his life as he slept inside the burlap feed sack, imagining it to be his Mother’s womb. He imagined the burlap sack to be the beautifully budding landscape of the Caregiver’s young body he protected with such vigor and stealth, in life and death. Gunsmoke would live inside her beautiful memory forever. Mr. Stout set the burlap feed sack down, once full of grain to feed the chickens, now an enclosure for his cowardly firing squad.
Mr. Stout never knew how lethal a weapon Gunsmoke had between his ears. Gunsmoke’s beautiful mind unleashed his true colors in telepathic jujitsu to the coward who killed him, Mr. Stout. His beautifully masculine, uncastrated feline mind unfurled into infinity as Mr. Stout unloaded an entire magazine of ammunition into his slumbering body. Mr. Stout bragged to the other nine men about how mighty his weapon was, telling tall tales of the gun, forgetting that the more men talk the less men think.
The men really were not at all impressed with how he had just killed his foster daughter’s cat, but they were scared to speak up. Mr. Stout had more power than them, and more guns. They had been raised on hate and shame just like him, and feared him more than God. It was a sad thing in rural Florida landscapes, besotted with the same tragedies as Scotland and Ireland generations before. They knew it was cruel, and it was wrong. They knew Gunsmoke’s spirit was more powerful than any gun, and his stoic silence reminded them of what they knew of Braveheart, but that was another tale to tell.
So it was that night that the Caregiver steeled herself in resolve, like Gunsmoke taught her, and raced down the tree with an almighty force and ran to the field. She poured a bit of kerosene from her Coleman lamp into the burn barrel near Mr. Stout’s prized garage with the rows of neatly organized Snap On tools she had taken great care to hang on the new peg board she had nailed to the walls.
She lit the burn barrel with her Zippo lighter. Fire burst from its center, causing smoke to rise through the pipe. She tore off through the fields, waving her arms wildly and screaming, “Daddy! Your shop is on fire! Help!” Knowing that she had seen them all, they all ran, as only cowards do when they value a 1956 Corvette sitting in the garage shop more than the Black life they are about to steal. They didn’t hate him because he was Black; they hated him because he was prosperous. This conflicted with their idea of what Black folks should be. They hated him because he had completed University of Florida on the GI Bill after returning from Vietnam. They hated him because he owned sixteen trucking rigs, and because he was the best diesel mechanic in the entire area. They hated him because he had just won a county repair contract they wanted. They wanted him dead, fed to the alligators, and to keep all the county business for themselves. They were corrupt, and they thought nothing of their wives at home, nor their children asleep in their beds. They cared nothing for this Veteran’s beautiful wife and six children, who were sick with worry, as they had expected him home many hours ago for supper.
Steeling herself for the terror that was soon to come for committing the crime of providing this life saving distraction, she loosened the bonds on the Black Father whose life had been bound in terror that night. He could run; she could not. She would only endanger him more if she tried to accompany him and run away. She knew she would have to stay and take the terrible punishment due her from Mr. Stout. Florida’s foster system was so overloaded with cases, that the entire world forgot they were children. Legalism objectified everything and everyone as a case when people forgot God’s intelligent design. She was more of a case than a child, except to the Black Father who blessed her that night. Children were necessary, and wonderful in a world that remembered eternal truths. In a world that valued things over people, children were only a source of anxiety. People would fight over whether children were blessings from God or curses from man, and forget how much children could help them all. So it was that she resolved to take her punishment.
Like the little Estes model rocket she so wanted to launch to the stars, she felt him launch into the stars. This beautiful Black Father quickly & deliberately drew a cross on her forehead with his left thumb as an eternal reminder for them all. Then he shot West into the fields, with more speed and purpose than the little Estes model rocket had a few moons before, toward the highway where he could take the long way home and find help.
Although the transportation worker reminded her of him, she knew in this moment of truth that he was himself, and called herself into present time and space with a simple, confident greeting. “Good evening, Sir.”
He was frightened of her. Who was this strangely dressed woman? Was she a Dr.? A Nurse? She scared him with her fuzzy red hair covered in a scarf, bright blue medical scrubs, open formal greeting, and the weapon she held in her left hand. Was she a crude person like the white women who visited his country as a child? Did she pretend to be kind, but wanted something cruel from him, as many white women thought of a Black man for only “having sex”? He had learned the hard way from American women. American men and women who only want to have sex are committing an act of consumption.
Perhaps this is one reason most American people were so fat, consuming sex like so much fast food purchased from drive thru lines, eating in their moving cars with multiple blasts of digital input. It was not really their fault, since it seemed American men valued their daughters little these days. Their daughters looked for their Daddy in empty one night stands and scores of junk food. He didn’t know what to think of the men. He only knew he would kill them if they ever tried to touch any woman in a wrong way in his witness. This is how domestic violence was handled in his native land.
If you are what you eat, then most American women seemed tasteless and empty compared to the thick and rich women in his native land and in the countrysides of Georgia. He preferred them to the city women for sure. They were healthy, friendly, and hospitable. Women in all colors were God’s most beautiful creation, but it seemed American men had forgotten that. There was a difference between being thick and rich, and fat and in poor taste. He knew it well and preferred his studies and his focus on the future to the crude advances of American women.
Arthur prayed to God for a woman who would wait for their marriage bed, and challenge him to be his best. Having sex was a crude act of American consumption. Making love with his wife was a sacred act of production. Making love with his wife would be a sacred act that would heal him. He prayed for her every day, and hoped she would appear in God’s time, which was always one time.
There was the difference between eating fast food alone in the car, or eating a nutritious homemade meal with family and loved ones. America seemed to forget that, in human relationships. He noticed LGBTQ-Plus people in Atlanta courting one another with more caution and class than most men and women had these days. It frightened him, as that white woman who tried to degrade him so many moons ago in his native country still frightened him today. Black men and all people were more than just their sex. He hated to be teased and thought of as gay because he was waiting on his wife, but he would endure this heartache and humiliation to stand on the promises of God.
He wanted to build his wife up to a Queen. Would he die in this alley way tonight as he had almost been killed by a white woman many moons ago? Would he live long enough to meet his Queen? The promise of her was greater than his ambition for money, although he would have plenty of that as a result of making the world a better place. He had no loaded weapon, since he could not qualify for his gun permit until he took his Oath of Affirmation next month. He was truly terrified, yet he thanked God. His prayers trumped his terror.
Sons were Princes. Daughters were Princesses. No child would be in his heart like his daughters, whether born of his seed or adopted. He loved them all. He remembered the young girls in his native country and wanted to adopt them all. They suffered too much for simple things, yet they pressed forward and counted it all joy with their incredible beauty and genius much of the world knew not.
Men are not provoked to war for God, country, and family. Men are provoked to war in defense of womankind. Wars must no longer be fought for chivalry, but for best results. Wars would be fought by understanding what Einstein didn’t fully explain. If people could not prevent and prepare for war as Einstein said, then neither could they prevent and prepare for love. Wars would be fought with better weapons than those that shed blood soon, by God’s grace and the power of his own mind. All human conflict can be solved by reason alone. He had suffered a lot and come a long way to bring his innovations to the world through Atlanta, and he prayed this night would not end his mission on Earth.
There had to be a better way than rape, pillage, and burn. These thoughts came to him as the fear turned to reason and he remembered his Mother’s wisdom. Love. Village. Earn. Here was the better way than rape, pillage, and burn. People all had the seeds that lead to the stars if they would only slow down and take care of every gift God provides.
He turned his mind to the strange woman passing before him this night from across the alley. She scared him. What did she have in her hand? Was it a loaded gun? Did she know he was studying for his GMAT to enter Morehouse College? Who was this woman? He remembered his Mother’s words of wisdom and breathed deeply, and raised both hands in surrender.
“Please, Madame. Take from me what you want.” He perceived her to be armed with a gun, but in the white light from the street lamp, he had a new concept as she opened her palm, raised her hands also in surrender, silently offered herself in peace, and so revealed the same weapon his Mother carried at all times. The Rosary. The Rosary’s Cross dropped from where it had been wrapped around her hand and inside her palm in constant prayer. They both laughed in solace from behind their face masks.
She pointed to his wallet and quietly said the same three words she first spoke as a Baby, “Put it away.” He replaced his wallet, then she asked the second set of three words she first learned as a Baby. “Are you alright?” He considered her question, and remembered how embarrassed he had been by American people asking a similar question, “How are you?”. When he first arrived to Atlanta to care for his Aunt Bea and attend university many moons ago, he answered the question politely with more detail than most Americans wanted. He was humiliated to see them keep passing him by, as he tried to tell them about his success finding a new used car, or the homemade lemon poppy seed cake his Aunt Bea made fresh every Monday for all to enjoy, then inviting them for a slice with coffee and conversation.
He realized Americans were not interested in any answer to this question, “How are you?” He realized they did not stop and count their time by calories enjoyed in community with family and neighbors, as was his custom, as was the custom in his native country, and the custom of so many loving Elders in Georgia’s beautiful landscape. He loved to stop by and visit his next door neighbor every day, a World War II Veteran who was recently widowed. When the Elder asked him, “How are you, Son?”, he truly wanted to hear, he wanted to enjoy a slice of cake with him and enjoy a chat.
It was ironic to him that Elders like his World War II Hero, his foster Father Mel, were not fat at all, just a little thick and rich like his beautiful Aunt Bea. Elders like him would never refuse a social invitation, and were happy eat his Aunt Bea’s wholesome lemon poppyseed cake. Let them slow down and eat Aunt Bea’s homemade lemon poppyseed cake and they would be comforted.
Let them be in an almighty rush and eat fast food, and they would be bloated with empty calories. Most Americans would refuse his invitation for Aunt Bea’s homemade lemon poppyseed cake, because they were on a diet and they were sure this would make them fat. What they didn’t know is that they were already empty. The emptiest calories are those consumed in social isolation.
Arthur felt this same warmth Father Mel glowed now from the Caregiver, although the whiteness of her skin had initially scared him. She was a different kind of white than the World War II Veteran, with many orange freckles that he initially found quite disgusting. He suddenly felt no less kin to her, as he truly was kin to Father Mel, who loved him. Son in word and deed Arthur was indeed to Father Mel. Father Mel who had lived next door to his Aunt Bea for over forty years had changed his mind about white people, but not erased his good judgement about the America’s upside down values. Arthur remembered himself, and addressed her truthfully. He was a little scared she would walk by, as most Americans do when they ask “How are you?”
He bowed slightly in respect, responding with formal confidence and stating his case clearly. “It is well, Madame. My Uber car is broke down and my iPhone has no charge.” Silently she set a small towel down on the asphalt. She laid her iPhone and a portable tool kit she retrieved from her knap sack down on the clean towel, then stepped back. “Please be welcome for these tools. I trust you to return them. I will be at Grady Memorial Hospital Emergency Room entrance at noon tomorrow.”
Before he could respond, she moved swiftly into the night. What was in the toolbox? He had plenty of cash, but it did him no good at this hour. It was after midnight, and everything was shut down since Covid-19 had chopped his income in half. He was disoriented by fear, hunger, and digital overload. He had run his iPhone down caring for his family all over the world remotely in between fares in his Uber car. What was the matter with his 1976 Ford Pinto? Others mocked him for driving such a car, but his Aunt Bea kept it in immaculate condition, as did he. Its brand new tires, souped up engine, and interior were carefully tended. He changed the oil regularly. He appreciated the simplicity of its design, although it was not a popular vehicle back in the day. With its manual transmission and good gas mileage, the little brown Ford Pinto provided a good return on working capital and return on investment for Arthur.
Arthur picked up the tools she had left him and walked toward his stalled vehicle. He engaged the iPhone’s flashlight, and suddenly illuminated the problem. Now he knew why he could not depress the clutch. He picked up the pin, which had worked its way out of the clutch’s pedal, and assembled it again with the Allen wrench in the canvas zippered toolkit.
He did not know who that woman was, but he did find out from her iPhone. Joy. What a perfect name for her. He counted it all joy, even the trouble his family had since April. Covid-19 hit his native country harder than America, and he promised to stay strong for them in Georgia.
He drove to Grady Memorial Hospital at noon the next day, happy to see his new friend. She was even more grateful for him, since he was the best return on working capital and return on investment she had made that week. They reminded each other that courage can conquer cowardice, and we must all press forward because of fear, not in spite of fear. Powering through the fear build’s bravery’s muscle. He asked her a question he hoped she would answer honestly. “How are you, Madame?”
She hesitated for a moment, then exhaled slowly beneath her shock pink face mask and told the truth. “I am hungry and tired, yet I thank God.” With that, he left a brown bag lunch on the common area six feet from her, smiled, bowed, and walked away. It was hard for her to receive gifts, but she retired to the bench outside ER and ate for the first time in over 24 hours.
The homemade tuna fish sandwich on pita bread, Roma apple slices, and homemade lemon poppy seed cake replenished her mind, body, and soul. This delicious gift of human kindness and compassionate connection was enough to fuel her as she walked toward the family who needed her help. She prayed for their beautiful loved one as he took the long way home toward this mortal life’s end.
How rich were those who knew the true value of things in life, and how grateful she was for the gift of connection her new friend provided. She walked with purpose, and stepped over the cracks, making sure to respect all lives in the margins, with God at the center. A cool breeze lilted from the Georgia foothills to the downtown city street, offering her grace from the heat and humidity. She stopped for a moment as a budding dandelion greeted her from a crack in the concrete. She remembered two Black lives more important than the little model Estes rocket with its failed launch many moons before. Had the little model Estes rocket not been stuck in the trees, neither would she have learned the true value of human life, and so launched a more important mission in her life.
Some people missed Mayberry, the fictional North Carolina town depicted in black and white on the Andy Griffith show. The Caregiver didn’t miss Mayberry, because she never missed her target. She never aimed at anything that was not her intended target, and she always knew what was beyond her target. Mayberry was not her target, so she didn’t miss it at all. Mayberry remains a state of mind in living color right here and now.
She was right there in Downtown Atlanta, as she read the beautifully hand written note from Arthur’s Aunt Bea, tucked neatly underneath her famous sumptuous homemade lemon poppyseed cake. It read, “Thank you, Miss Joy, for helping my Arthur last night. We are your family now. Come to the house two doors East from the trailer park on Peach Cobbler Trail to have supper with us tomorrow. Love, Aunt Bea.” Mayberry. A state of mind in living color.
This has been an unofficial 23:59 report from Planet Earth. Imagine the possibilities when we connect through compassion and mutual guarantee.
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